Home BE A LEADER Melissa Sutor “I inspire and empower people, helping them to become more of who they truly are and supporting them in actualizing their fullest potential.”

Melissa Sutor “I inspire and empower people, helping them to become more of who they truly are and supporting them in actualizing their fullest potential.”

written by Mayshad Mag January 1, 2019
Melissa Sutor
Mayshad Mag

By Mayshad Mag

Mayshad Magazine is an advocacy platform for empowerment which mainly focuses on empowering women, raising awareness and exploring a contemporary lifestyle.


  1. Could you please tell us about yourself and what inspires you on a day to day basis?

Gratitude inspires me. I wake up in the morning and give thanks and also when my husband wakes up that we are gifted with another day to spend together. My grandmother used to say, “Everything that has breath needs to give praise!” meaning there’s great joy in being alive so give thanks. Knowing that we’re all one, all interconnected, inspires me. Realizing that there is just as much beauty in the world as there is negativity and by experiencing our sadness we can experience happiness. I acknowledge and turn towards the darkness in order to transform it into light and this starts with me and each of us. The peace and happiness that we want in the world must first be experienced within ourselves. We are all participating in co-creating the world in which we live. Therefore, going inward is so pertinent, exploring our own inner landscape and raising our self-awareness. I have a consistent meditation practice and find great power in meditating in nature. Being of the greatest service to my Highest Power, to myself, to others and to the Earth inspires me. This takes courage and I choose to make brave decisions that align with my authentic self. I had a career in corporate tech in Silicon Valley until I reached a point of unhealthy stress and burnout. During my last project management position, an engineer on my team was admitted to the hospital with extremely high blood pressure though was told by executive management to get back to work. Shortly after I left the company, I was contacted by a colleague that this engineer, my friend, suffered a massive heart attack and died. I was devastated, then this tragedy led me to begin studying and researching about work stress, burnout, life balance, positive psychology and mindfulness. Lifelong learning inspires me as well so I returned to graduate school for counseling psychology and became professionally trained in mindfulness. Now I speak and teach about these topics and specifically on mindfulness as the path of happiness. I lead group retreats as well as personal retreats in addition to consulting, speaking, and being an advisor for a software development company.

  1. How would you define a great leader? What’s your leadership style?

Great leadership means that you’re also a student. You are a continuous learner and know that every interaction, every relationship that you have is a win-win for both of you. You’re a leader, a guide, and a partner. Great leaders are committed to self-awareness, are empathic and compassionate, courageous, confident yet humble, and enjoy a sense of humor. My leadership style is grounded in the intention of empowerment.

I inspire and empower people, helping them to become more of who they truly are and supporting them in actualizing their fullest potential.

  1. What does mindfulness and stress mean to you? Are they related? What do you suggest to reduce stress?

Mindfulness and stress are indeed related. When you’re living mindfully you’re able to have a direct effect on stress in your life. Stressors are the things that cause stress and they may be internal or external. Yes, many times we drive our own stress! We can worry about the future and ruminate about the past, doubting ourselves, judging ourselves, and just giving ourselves a hard time in various ways. We can create stressors in life according to the things we “should” do and “have to” do. Mindfulness helps us to see clearly how we’re generating stress in our lives so that we can choose something different as well as seeing how we may react to stressors that are beyond our control in ways that are not skillful and change this as well. Mindfulness means befriending life and being able to dance with it. Accepting what is in a way that you are wise to choose which actions to take at the right times. With this we bring awareness to our experiences and we tap into our own inner resources to choose the best option for us in that moment that will then affect the future. If we take care of this moment then the following moments are taken care of so we will live so much happier when we relax into the knowing that this moment is all we have and we best serve ourselves and others by living in the present moment. Stress is reduced, we have more energy, and we’re better able to self-regulate and truly create the lives that we really want. Mindfulness is awareness in the present moment, knowing what is happening on the inside of you and outside of you. Mindful awareness is with an attitude of nonjudgment. We understand that we are the witness to our experiences and we perceive them depending on our previous experiences. Getting to this understanding is extraordinary. There’s now been over 30 years of scientific research on mindfulness showing the great impact on reducing stress in addition to a myriad of other positive benefits. An eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program is life changing.

  1. On an everyday basis, when publicly speaking, what do you expect your audience to do differently after having heard your presentation?

Stillness and Action. Start and/or continue a consistent meditation practice that’s filled with compassion. Focus on self-care as love for themselves and others with the understanding that they must give to themselves in order to give their best to others. Actually, value presence and time of stillness to gain clarity and knowing. Reflect on their lives and connect with their values, think and feel into aligning their lives with these values. Living from love, reflecting on the fact that happiness, joy, bliss and all high frequency ways of being are their birthright. We have free will to create the life that we truly wish for and many times that involves having a guide, a mentor, or a teacher to be of support in the journey. The most we can wish to accomplish in this world is to live authentic and true to ourselves. Through this way of being we offer the greatest gift to humanity.

  1. What is your mission in life? What do you owe your success to? What do you wish to accomplish as an authority in your field of expertise?

Inspire people to live their happiest lives! When I work with an individual or a group of people and help raise their happiness, there is a ripple effect. Their happiness affects their family, communities, workplace. Happiness is truly contagious! My success is through the Source, creator of all things, the power that guides all of us though we need to be still and quiet enough to listen then choose the courage to act from this knowing. Also, my ancestors, all of those who came before us. We stand on their shoulders. For Black people in the USA as well as all historically oppressed groups, there have been many sacrifices and much struggle and I choose to remember this as power to propel me forward and bring others with me. Diversity is a fact in the world though inclusion is where we need to work. We can create a world where each of us knows and feels that we belong even in all of our authenticity and living true to ourselves. Imagine that.

I am accomplishing the awareness of diverse teachers in the mindfulness world and that wisdom comes from all backgrounds, colors, shapes, sizes, beliefs, etc. Since I was on the cover of Mindful magazine so many women of color have reached out to me sharing how they are inspired and what a joy to see a woman of color featured on a mainstream health magazine. It is so uplifting for all of us and to be celebrated by all of us. When there is representation, others believe that they can do the same and even better. This is what we want! This will boost confidence, empower, and encourage others to make a difference in the world and go for their dreams, whatever they may be.

  1. Based on the following description, how would you say that you relate to the Mayshad Woman Philosophy?

 As you may know, being a Mayshad Woman is a choice that women make to live stimulated lives with a positive philosophy based on gratitude, acceptance, accomplishment and human empowerment in order to be who they want to be. Mayshad Women handle different aspects of their lives with confidence and make sure to always stick to their values, in other words, to stay themselves. Mayshad Women are free spirits that design and drive their own lives while inspiring others to do the same.

Sounds like the description of my life! I very much resonate with the Mayshad Woman Philosophy and the attributes of being a Mayshad woman. These are reasons why I got a clear “Yes!” to participate in this interview and be a part of this community. The work that you do to inspire, encourage, and empower is true to my heart.

I co- create my life, choosing to live the life that I want and rising above the painful circumstances that have occurred. Trusting myself and the beautiful unfolding of life, I left a successful career and traveled around the world for two years continuously then off and on for another two years, mostly on my own while meeting people along the way. It was empowering, freeing, and expansive. I encourage everyone to travel and especially all young people to go travel and/or live outside of their home country for at least a year after high school and/or college. It will be life changing! Empathy and compassion are cultivated as well as tolerance and understanding. If you allow it, travel can help you to be a better human being. It does for me.

Being a Mayshad woman is being an example of the change that you want to see in the world. I aim to be an inspiration before even saying anything, just through my energy, open heart, and loving presence.

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